comply with a mandate from the Ohio Department of Education’s Office of
School Finance to submit a written plan to eliminate its projected
deficit, the Nordonia Hills City School District Board of Education took
several steps Monday to increase revenue and reduce spending.
revenue, the board unanimously approved placing a 6.98 mill operating levy on
the May 7 ballot. According to award-winning Treasurer/CFO Karen Obratil, the
continuing operating levy will raise just over $7 million dollars annually,
with collection beginning in January, 2020. A similar levy failed last November
by 685 votes.
The Board also unanimously approved an increase in
pay-to-participate fees for athletics and other extracurricular activities.
Beginning in the 2019-20 school year, students participating in high school
athletics will pay $280 per sport, up from the current $230 fee. Fees for band
in grades 6-12, choir in grades 7-12, and middle school athletics will also
increase about 20 percent per activity. Mrs. Obratil projects nearly a $50,000
revenue increase with these changes.
In addition, the Board unanimously approved an increase to
tuition for all-day kindergarten, from $2,200 to $2,700 per year. Under state
law, discounts are available for those families who qualify for free or reduced
price lunches. Mrs. Obratil projects nearly a $80,000 revenue increase with
To reduce spending,
the Board unanimously approved reductions that would save a projected
$1.6 million in FY20. The reductions will eliminate 38 jobs district
wide, most through layoffs, with a small portion through attrition.
These reductions would all become effective at the start of the 2019-20
Click on this link to view the Nordonia Schools Spending Reduction Plan
The reductions do not eliminate any current programs offered
by the district. However, the reductions will cause class sizes to increase in
the elementary buildings and high school; will eliminate busing eligibility for
more than 2,300 students; and will scale back aide help to special education
teachers across the district.
The largest savings is realized by going to state minimum
transportation. Under state minimums, high school transportation will be
eliminated (including for private school students), and students in grades K-8
will qualify for transportation only if they live two or more miles away from
If Levy Passes
If the May 7 levy
passes, busing will stay as it currently is, available for all students
in grades K-12 living one mile or more from school. The reduction of the
ELL teacher (formerly English as a Second Language) will be permanent
due to decreasing enrollment with that student population, from a high
of 77 students in 2014-15 to only 34 students in 2018-19. These
students’ native languages include Gujarati, Punjabi, Korean, Romanian,
Portuguese, Chinese, Swahili, Spanish, Bengali, Nepali,
Armenian/Russian, Vietnamese, Tagalog and Arabic.
Also, a pay freeze for the district’s 26 administrators, supervisors
and exempt secretaries will remain in place for 2019-20 regardless of
the outcome of the levy. All other reductions will be analyzed over the
summer and restored as deemed appropriate and necessary.